Recommendations for Universal Masks for Healthcare Professionals
Given the rising number of cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, and the increased risk of exposure to healthcare professionals and patients, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) recommends that healthcare workers wear masks throughout the workday. N95 or KN95 masks should not be used routinely but preserved for those caring directly for patients with COVID-19 or those suspected of having COVID-19. This recommendation applies to healthcare professionals working in patient care areas, even when they are not in a patient-facing role. Healthcare professionals included in this recommendation are all paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings with the potential for either direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, contaminated medical supplies or contaminated environmental surfaces.
Please realize masks should be used in addition to (not instead of) continuing proper distancing and proper hand hygiene.
Proper hand hygiene should be performed after donning and doffing the mask. Masks should be replaced when they become soiled, moist or damaged. Masks can be replaced at various time points as directed by your healthcare institution, following hygienic principles. If surgical masks are not readily available due to restrictions in supply, masks of similar quality produced by local industry or homemade cloth masks can be used as directed by your institution. Cloth masks should be laundered at home daily in hot water and dried with high heat. See CDC guidelines for cloth masks ».
When caring for patients with possible COVID-19 symptoms, MSDH still recommends a minimum complement of a surgical mask, eye protection and gloves. When caring for patients with known COVID-19 we strongly recommend strict compliance with CDC infection control guidance »
Testing for COVID-19 is not performed at county health departments. Please contact your physician or a healthcare provider.
Healthcare Provider Guidance and Resources
Specimen Transport and Delivery
MSDH is transitioning away from faxed reporting of COVID-19 positives to a new online reporting system. You must register for the new NBS reporting system, even if you have already been reporting cases online.
Map and Directions for Laboratory Dropoff
The Dr. F.E.”ED” Thompson, Jr. Public Health Laboratory Facility is on the State Department of Health's central office campus in Jackson, MS at 350 East Woodrow Wilson Drive, Jackson, 39216.
Local Delivery of Samples: Drop samples off at the rear of the Thompson lab building. Detailed instructions are in our sample shipping guidance.
Dropoff hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00–4:30.